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Air Pollution: The Latest Architecture and News

How Rebuilding Britain’s Houses of Parliament Helped Create Clean Air Laws

08:00 - 29 January, 2017
How Rebuilding Britain’s Houses of Parliament Helped Create Clean Air Laws, The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

MIT has published new research revealing how the reconstruction of the British Houses of Parliament paved the way for legislation to tackle air pollution in Victorian London. Through original archival work into the 1840-1870 reconstruction, MIT architectural historian Timothy Hyde has revealed that work on the Parliament building was so hindered by air pollution that the British government ordered an inquiry into the effects of the atmosphere on new buildings.

The British Houses of Parliament. Image © Flickr user megantrace. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  © Flickr user daveograve. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Image New limestone corroded while the building was still being constructed. Image © Flickr user pahudson. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Westminster Bridge, 1903. Image © Flickr user nedgusnod2. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 + 5